Our tortoiseshell cat Tashi, now nearly 14 years old, has taken to dragging her water bowl around on the wooden floor of the kitchen. From a nearby room we’d occasionally hear a strange, effortful scraping sound from the direction of the kitchen, as though a small convict were moving about in chains. We’d investigate and find the water bowl a couple of feet away from where we had put it, pools of water spilled across the floor. To prevent the spilling, I even changed her plastic bowl for a heavier pottery one, but she learned how to drag that one too.
Eventually Bob sat quietly and watched her until he saw what was happening. She was putting her paw inside the bowl and pulling it towards her until she set the surface of the water in motion. At that point she would quickly lean down to drink. It seemed that a motionless bowl of water was no fun, but a moving surface was attractive. I mentioned it to the vet, who said that many cats prefer to drink from running water. We knew that, because Tashi loves to drink from a running water tap in the garden. But she has had a water bowl on the kitchen floor all her life. Why has she only now, in her mature years, hit on the idea of dragging the bowl to make the water move? They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks… but a cat?